Awards

Kiersten Lucas Partner

Kiersten heads the Middle East employment team and is one of the most pre-eminent international employment advisors, with a wealth of experience advising clients across a wide range of industries on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters arising under the UAE Federal laws/specific UAE freezones and under English law.
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Kiersten heads the Middle East employment team and is one of the most pre-eminent international employment advisors, with a wealth of experience advising clients across a wide range of industries on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters arising under the UAE Federal laws/specific UAE freezones and under English law.

Kiersten has extensive experience providing operational and strategic advice to clients internationally across a wide range of industries on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment and HR matters arising under the UAE Federal laws, the laws of specific UAE freezones, including the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and under English law. Particular areas of specialism include: restrictive covenants and the protection of confidential information; assisting with complex and sensitive investigations, including whistleblowing disclosures; preparing employment contracts and policies; advising on incentives arrangements and innovative means of providing for, and structuring, end of service payments and employee savings/benefits; the employment law implications of financial services regulatory obligations/contraventions; the interplay between data privacy and employment law; and employee exits and disputes (including high value multi-jurisdictional litigation – she is a registered DIFC Court Practitioner).

As a trusted advisor to a number of leading companies in the Middle East region, Kiersten is known for her client-focused approach, providing expert guidance and tailored solutions that take into account the unique requirements of each business. With over two decades of experience in advising on employment-related matters, she is a sought-after speaker and regularly presents on a range of employment topics.

She is also a published author, having co-authored several chapters in Bloomsbury’s Fourth Edition of “Employment Covenants and Confidential Information: Law, Practice and Technique” (a leading text that offers practical guidance in this field), as well as being commissioned by the DIFC Authority to co-author the employment law and data protection law chapters in LexisNexis’ Laws of the DIFC, Volumes 1 and 2 (and the updates to both).

As a result of her standing in the market, Kiersten is recognised as a “Leading Individual” for Employment law in prominent legal directories such as Chambers & Partners Global 2024 and Legal 500 EMEA 2024.

In addition, Kiersten's reputation in the market is reflected through her also being listed as one of the standout lawyers for the Middle East and North Africa region in the “MENA Super 50 Lawyers” 2023 list which was issued by Thomson Reuters’ ALB publication and is also listed as one of the "top recommended lawyers" in Spear's Magazine's 2023 'Employment, Immigration, and Art Law Indices' for high-net-worth individuals where she is noted as being an "an excellent choice for anyone straddling London and Dubai".

Clients describe Kiersten as "the star of the UAE employment team" and "a highly experienced counsel with deep knowledge of local DIFC employment law, providing context to her advice based on her multi-jurisdictional experience." Additionally, she is acknowledged for being "an exceptional lawyer" when advising clients on their matters.

"Kiersten is a superb employment lawyer with excellent commercial awareness and a strong dedication to client care. She works relentlessly on her client engagements and gets the best outcomes possible."
Chambers & Partners Global 2024

  • Investment funds
  • Employment
  • Employment, pensions, incentives and immigration
  • Regulatory litigation
  • Remuneration policies
  • Corporate
  • Partnership

High Court litigation

Bringing successful multi-million pound claims for unpaid bonuses and profit shares for FCA regulated individuals in the hedge fund industry.

Defending individuals against claims for breach of confidence/duties.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals involved in, or accused of, regulatory contraventions (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse).

Whistleblowing/disciplinary processes

Advising regulated firms and individuals on whistleblowing, employment disciplinary processes, reports to the regulators (Forms C and D) and privilege.

Remuneration arrangements

Drafting and advising on complex remuneration arrangements for PRA/FCA regulated entities, including banks and brokers to ensure Remuneration Code compliance regarding buy-outs, guaranteed bonuses, deferrals and clawback.

Asset and share sales

Advising a leading UK investment management company on the sale of one of its divisions to an AIM-listed independent stockbroker and investment bank, and a subsequent management buy-out.

Private equity/fund management

Advising renewable energy fund managers on the employment aspects of TUPE transactions.

Advising a private equity house specialising in raising finance for renewable energy on senior manager performance issues/exit strategies.

Partner departures/recruitment

Advising a leading accountancy and tax advisory firm, and global valuation and corporate finance advisors in relation to the enforceability of LLP restrictive covenants and liquidated damages clauses.

LLP terms

Advising high net worth individuals investing in hedge funds on LLP agreement terms, in particular the interplay between restrictive covenants and good/bad leaver provisions and the lock-up of their investment.

Training

Delivering training on the employment aspects of regulatory investigations, complex remuneration structures and the interplay with restrictive covenants, Remuneration Code issues (including clawback and malus) and penalty clauses.

More: Investment funds

High value litigation (High Court, Court of Appeal, Employment Tribunals) 

Defending and bringing multi-jurisdictional, multi-million pound disputes concerning executive bonuses/benefits, team moves and restrictive covenant/confidential information injunctions.

Restrictive covenants, team moves and protection of confidential information 

Drafting and enforcing covenants and confidential information provisions in the employment and partnership context.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations 

Advising regulated firms and individuals on the employment aspects of regulatory contraventions and investigations (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse).

Pay structures, remuneration policies and incentive arrangements 

Drafting remuneration clauses, bonus and profit-sharing arrangements and advising clients on their operation including in relation to good/bad leaver status, buy-outs, bonus clawback and general compliance with Remuneration Codes.

Contracts and employment documentation 

Drafting and advising clients on domestic employment documentation, dual contracts and cross border employment arrangements and policies.

Terminations and severance arrangements 

Advising clients on and drafting termination documents and providing strategic advice for multi-national clients regarding senior level exits.

Operational and strategic issues

Advising clients on whistleblowing, disciplinaries, grievances and sensitive investigations, privilege, brand and reputation management.

Diversity 

Defending and bringing discrimination claims and advising clients on equal pay issues.

Transactional support 

Advising on business and share transfers (including insolvencies), MBOs, IPOs, reorganisations and redundancy programmes. 

Training 

Delivering bespoke and general training sessions and briefings for clients on the full range of employment law issues.

More: Employment

High value litigation (High Court, Court of Appeal, Employment Tribunals)

Defending and bringing multi-jurisdictional, multi-million pound disputes concerning executive bonuses/benefits, team moves and restrictive covenant/confidential information injunctions.

Restrictive covenants, team moves and protection of confidential information

Drafting and enforcing covenants and confidential information provisions in the employment and partnership context.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals on the employment aspects of regulatory contraventions and investigations (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse).

Pay structures, remuneration policies and incentive arrangements

Drafting remuneration clauses, bonus and profit-sharing arrangements and advising clients on their operation including in relation to good/bad leaver status, buy-outs, bonus clawback and general compliance with Remuneration Codes.

Contracts and employment documentation

Drafting and advising clients on domestic employment documentation, dual contracts and cross border employment arrangements and policies.

Terminations and severance arrangements

Advising clients on and drafting termination documents and providing strategic advice for multi-national clients regarding senior level exits.

Operational and strategic issues

Advising clients on whistleblowing, disciplinaries, grievances and sensitive investigations, privilege, brand and reputation management.

Diversity

Defending and bringing discrimination claims and advising clients on equal pay issues.

Transactional support

Advising on business and share transfers (including insolvencies), MBOs, IPOs, reorganisations and redundancy programmes.

Training

Delivering bespoke and general training sessions and briefings for clients on the full range of employment law issues.

More: Employment, pensions, incentives and immigration

Kiersten works as an integral part of the client teams advising PRA and FCA regulated firms and individuals in relation to:

High value litigation (High Court, Court of Appeal)

Bringing successful multi-million pound claims for bonus and profit shares for high net worth FCA regulated individuals.

Defending individuals against claims for breach of confidence/duties.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals involved in, or accused of, regulatory contraventions (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse).

Whistleblowing/disciplinary processes

Advising regulated firms and individuals on whistleblowing, employment disciplinary processes, reports to the regulators (Forms C and D) and privilege.

Employment Tribunal

Advising and representing regulated individuals bringing claims against their former employers, including high value unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims.

Settlement agreements

Drafting and negotiating exit arrangements for senior regulated individuals departing from global financial institutions, and providing strategic advice for multi-national clients regarding senior level exits.

Training

Delivering training on the employment aspects of regulatory investigations.

More: Regulatory litigation

Kiersten works as an integral part of the client teams advising PRA and FCA regulated firms and individuals in relation to:

Remuneration arrangements

Drafting and advising clients on complex remuneration arrangements for PRA/FCA regulated entities, including banks and brokers to ensure Remuneration Code compliance regarding buy-outs, guaranteed bonuses, deferrals and clawback.

High value litigation (High Court, Court of Appeal)

Bringing successful multi-million pound claims for unpaid bonuses and profit shares for high net worth FCA regulated individuals in the financial services sector.

Cross-border

Advising clients on complex employment/severance arrangements for senior executives whose activities span domestic and international regulatory jurisdictions.

Training

Delivering training on complex remuneration structures and the interplay with restrictive covenants, Remuneration Code issues (including clawback and malus) and penalty clauses.

More: Remuneration policies

Kiersten provides vital support to our corporate and restructuring practices in relation to:

Asset and share sales

Advising a leading UK investment management company on the sale of one of its divisions to an AIM-listed independent stockbroker and investment bank, and a management buy-out.

Insolvency proceedings

Advising businesses and administrators/insolvency practitioners on the employment aspects of the sale and purchase of businesses out of administration and insolvency including the application of TUPE.

International assistance

Project managing multi-jurisdictional business and share sales and related reorganisations and redundancy programmes, including sourcing and co-ordinating local legal advice.

More: Corporate

Kiersten advises and assists corporate and individual clients in relation to:

Partner departures/recruitment

Advising a leading accountancy and tax advisory firm, and global valuation and corporate finance advisors in relation to the enforceability of LLP restrictive covenants and liquidated damages clauses.

LLP terms

Advising high net worth individuals investing in hedge funds on LLP agreement terms, in particular the interplay between restrictive covenants and good/bad leaver provisions and the lock-up of their investment.

Partner litigation

Advising senior individuals on the recovery of sums owed to them by a hedge fund LLP by way of profit share; defending individuals against High Court claims for breach of confidence.

  • Banks and banking
  • Sport
  • Technology

Remuneration arrangements

Drafting and advising on complex remuneration arrangements for PRA/FCA regulated entities, including banks and brokers to ensure Remuneration Code compliance regarding buy-outs, guaranteed bonuses, deferrals and clawback.

Cross-border employment arrangements

Advising a global bank on complex cross-border employment arrangements for a senior regulated individual whose activities would span both domestic and international regulators' jurisdictions.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals involved in, or accused of, regulatory contraventions (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse).

Whistleblowing/disciplinary processes

Advising regulated firms and individuals on whistleblowing, employment disciplinary processes, reports to the regulators (Forms C and D) and privilege.

Employment Tribunal

Advising and representing regulated individuals bringing claims against their former employers, including high value unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims.

Settlement agreements

Drafting and negotiating exit arrangements for senior regulated individuals departing from global financial institutions, and providing strategic advice for multi-national clients regarding senior level exits.

Training

Delivering training on the employment aspects of regulatory investigations, complex remuneration structures and the interplay with restrictive covenants, Remuneration Code issues (including clawback and malus) and penalty clauses.

More: Banks and banking

Kiersten is part of the firms' Sports Law Group and has advised clients across a range of sporting backgrounds.

Termination of employment

Successful seven-figure High Court/Court of Appeal claim for a Premiership football manager following his wrongful termination.

Negotiating exit terms for a polo club employee.

Asset sales/TUPE

Advising a leading television sports network on the potential acquisition of rights to promote and broadcast certain motorsports.

Injunctions

Injunctive proceedings for leading F1 designer, manufacturer/tester of engine and transmission components concerning confidential information posted onto social media.

More: Sport

Team move/restrictive covenant litigation

Leading a successful multi-jurisdictional (involving parallel proceedings in London and New York), seven-figure dispute for US-headquartered worldwide music corporation concerning team moves, restrictive covenants and confidential information.

Classical music artist contracts and employment documentation

Advising classical music artists on their contracts of employment and consultancy agreements.

Restrictive covenants

Advising leading designer/manufacturer of vacuum cleaners in respect of multi-jurisdictional (UK and US) restrictive covenants issues.

Television broadcasting

Advising leading television sports network on the potential acquisition of rights to promote and broadcast certain motorsports.

Information technology

Advising global distributor of electronic components, embedded technology and IT solutions/services on operational employment issues, in particular TUPE transactions and executive employment/severance terms.

Pan-European transactional support

Advising Canadian software company on pan-European business and share transfers, and subsequent reorganisations and redundancy programmes.

Information technology recruitment

Advising leading IT recruitment firms on operational employment issues, including disciplinaries, grievances and sensitive investigations, brand and reputation management.

More: Technology

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia

High Court Litigation

Bringing successful multi-million pound claims for bonus/profit shares for FCA regulated individuals (involved parallel proceedings in Cyprus).

Defending individuals against breach of confidence/duties claims (involved parallel proceedings in Guernsey).

Remuneration provisions

Advising a global bank on complex cross-border employment arrangements for a senior regulated individual whose activities would span both domestic and European regulators' jurisdictions.

Pan-European service agreements

Advising a multi-national management consulting firm on the roll-out of standardised service agreements across multiple European jurisdictions (and worldwide) following an IPO, including sourcing and co-ordinating local law advice.

Pan-European terminations and severance arrangements

Providing strategic advice (in conjunction with local lawyers) to multi-national clients/drafting termination documentation regarding senior level exits in multiple European jurisdictions (including France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain).

Pan-European transactional support

Advising on the UK aspects of, and project managing local law advice for clients regarding pan-European business and share transfers, MBOs, IPOs, reorganisations and redundancy programmes.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals involved in, or accused of, regulatory contraventions (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse) being investigated by UK and European regulators.

Employment Tribunal

Advising and representing regulated individuals bringing claims against European-headquartered banks.

More: Europe

Team move/restrictive covenant litigation

Leading a successful multi-jurisdictional (involving parallel proceedings in London and New York), seven-figure dispute for US-headquartered worldwide music corporation concerning team moves, restrictive covenants and confidential information.

Bonus litigation

Multi-million dollar litigation for multiple claimants against a US-headquartered global insurance and financial services institution regarding the recovery of unpaid bonuses under schemes governed by US law.

Restrictive covenants

Advising US-based clients on the approach to restrictive covenants in the UK and drafting the same

Advising clients on the differences in approach to construction and enforcement of restrictive covenants in the UK compared to certain US jurisdictions.

White collar crime/regulatory investigations

Advising regulated firms and individuals involved in, or accused of, regulatory contraventions (including LIBOR and FX manipulation and market abuse) being investigated by UK and US regulators.

Remuneration arrangements

Drafting and advising London branch of Canadian bank on its remuneration arrangements to ensure Remuneration Code compliance regarding buy-outs, guaranteed bonuses, deferrals and clawback.

Contracts and employment documentation

Advising on and drafting service agreements, dual contracts and employment policies and procedures for US and Canadian clients setting up UK subsidiaries.

Partner departures/recruitment

Advising leading US global valuation and corporate finance advisors in relation to the enforceability of LLP restrictive covenants and liquidated damages clauses in the UK.

Operational and strategic issues

Advising a leading Canadian-based adventure travel company on operational employment issues including changing terms and conditions of employment and handling performance issues.

Cross border transactional support

Advising Canadian software company on pan-European business and share transfers, and subsequent reorganisations and redundancy programmes.

More: North America

Cross-border employment arrangements

Advising a PRA and FCA regulated Asian bank on complex cross-border employment arrangements for a senior regulated individual whose activities would span both domestic and international regulators' jurisdictions.

Settlement agreements

Advising a senior regulated executive of a major global bank on his complex exit arrangements.

Remuneration arrangements

Drafting and advising a PRA and FCA regulated Asian bank on its UK remuneration arrangements to ensure Remuneration Code compliance regarding buy-outs, guaranteed bonuses, deferrals and clawback.

Whistleblowing/settlement agreement

Advising an international steel trading company on whistleblowing allegations made against them in Asia and related senior employee exit arrangements.

More: Asia

Awards

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.